Home > Business Scams > Work from Home Scams

Work from Home Scams

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 12 Jul 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Work At Home Office Of Fair Trading

In an age of downsizing, layoffs, and the need for extra income, the idea of working from home can be very attractive. There's no long commute, you can work the hours you want, and if you believe the spam e-mails that land in your inbox, you can make a very good income. It's true that there are many legitimate work from home opportunities. But there are also plenty of scams, up to 300 at any one time, according to the Office of Fair Trading. This will help you sort the wheat from the chaff.

How It Works

Perhaps the oldest of all these is the promise of making money stuffing envelopes. Apply, and you'll be asked to pay a registration fee. In return you receive advice on placing a similar ad to recruit others. It's a pyramid scheme, and a scam. Do it and you can find yourself prosecuted for fraud.

Home assembly kits require you to pay a fee for a kit. After you've assembled it and sent it in, the scammer rejects it as sub-standard, leaving you out for materials.

Home working directories claim to offer different work opportunities. But what you receive for your money is a directory of other companies with their own registration fees.

Those all demand money upfront (as do many others, including the medical billing scam, which is common in America), but bring no return. Much the same applies to product testing at home, reading books for money and data entry or typing at home. Be very suspicious of them all.

There are others that don't ask for money, although you still won't make a living wage. Making money completing surveys is a common one. Register (some sites ask for a fee) and you'll be contacted to take surveys, which do pay money. However, you won't even make enough to pay for your groceries, and often that's in "credit" for the site with which you've registered.

All of these scams have been around for decades, updated for the Internet age. One that's new, however, is surfing the Web for money. Again, the promise is big money. But once more, the chances of being paid are small. Surf Junky is one of the biggest of these, but many reports state that once a customer reaches a balance of $25, the account is marked for deletion, with the company claiming the customer has used illegal programmes to inflate their payout rate.

How To Avoid Being Scammed

  • The first piece of advice is not to believe what you read. There's no honest way to get rich quick. Be very sceptical and think twice about everything.
  • Insist on a landline phone number to contact the company (not a mobile). Get an address, a proper street address, not a P.O. Box or an accommodation address.
  • Be certain who you're dealing with. The company might not be employing you directly, but merely finding a market for your work.
  • Never send money without first investigating the company. Any legitimate company will answer your enquiries.
  • Ask for references. Don't settle for one or two, who might be planted shills. Talk to several different people, in person if possible, and don't be afraid to ask hard questions.
  • If the work involves creating and selling a product, make sure there's a market for it.
  • Be aware of any legal requirements involved (would the work require you to legally register with a government agency or the Inland Revenue, for example).
  • If the company is asking for money, know the details of their refund policy and obtain them in writing. If they don't have one, don't proceed.
  • Should a company offer you an advance on your "pay," don't believe a word. Often, after you've deposited the cheque, the company will contact you saying you've been paid the wrong amount, and you need to refund part of it. Then, once your cheque is in their bank, you'll discover their cheque to you has bounced.

What To Do If You've Been Scammed

About your only recourse if you fall victim to one of these scams is to report it to the Office of Fair Trading. Make sure you've kept as much information as possible, including addresses (street and e-mail) and phone numbers and notes of their promises and the reality. They will investigate and if possible prosecute the criminals. That said, it's unlikely you'll ever see your money again. Usually, the companies behind these scams just stop doing business, only to reappear with a different name and number within a matter of days.

People do make a living working from home. But it requires a great deal of work and self-discipline. They know there's no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Be careful who you do business with, and you too can be earning from your own house.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Angry666
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had a call. . I asked for his name. Location ID and what department. . He hung up. . 0114 number. Reported to sky. But they ain't interested.…
    19 July 2019
  • John
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had call from and ethnic man named Joseph. Refund on my Sky account asking DOB gave completely wrong one he took it. Then asked for expiry date on…
    25 June 2019
  • Cadbury
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Call from " sky". My breakdown ! First clue GOOD AFTERNOON It was 11 am Cover is ending. Buy now £150 for two years. Cannot pay direct debit. But one…
    18 June 2019
  • jacques73
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had a call from a person named Kelly who said she was from Sky maintenance and that my cover was about to expire. Said they were doing a deal on…
    30 May 2019
  • Norbs
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Call from ‘Sky tv’, we will change your box because we have had lots of complaints about it. Security check - what is your date of birth? OK because you…
    23 May 2019
  • Dusty
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Call from 01254 786422 stating calling from sky to say they had been having difficulties with sky boxes and they were updating a they would send out a…
    14 April 2019
  • Doccon
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had a Man claiming to be from Sky telling me I was about to receive a new sky box it would arrive Staurday as SKY had received many compliants…
    10 April 2019
  • Ray
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Just had Indian lady claiming to be from Sky telling me I was about to receive a new sky box....I was asked my d.o.b and sort code(for verification) I…
    16 March 2019
  • Cols
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Had a phone call from "Sky Protect" today offering a huge discount on Sky equipment insurance. "Paul" wanted my card numbers. I refused to give them,…
    4 February 2019
  • Oggy
    Re: Sky TV Scam
    Received a phone call from Indian lady called 'Lara" at 8:45am purporting to be from Sky. I have a refund due of £202 it seems but first can I confirm…
    10 October 2018